Apple links iTunes to social networking through Bebo

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
Apple Inc. has made one of its first overt attempts to tap into web youth culture, establishing links between its iTunes Store and European social networking site Bebo.



The Financial Times reports that a deal with Bebo.com will let the site's nearly 9 million users in Ireland and the UK jump directly to Apple's online music store through embedded links in the profiles of musicians, providing a shortcut that displays their albums and songs on the iTunes Store.



Apple's deal will potentially give it access to as many as 500,000 musicians who maintain profiles on the page and will also serve as a vehicle for pushing new artists for both companies. A free Bebo single of the week will operate separately from the official iTunes release to encourage visiting Bebo itself and buying the music. Mercury artist Amy Macdonald will be the first to have a free Bebo single, according to the report.



The iPod maker is said to consider the move experimental and a means of encouraging legal downloads by putting them a click away on the artist page. If it proves successful, the Bebo project may expand to the full 33 million international Bebo users.



An incidental benefit of the move, however, is exposure to a younger market of web visitors that it has known in the past. Almost a third of youth between 16 and 24 years old visit at least one social networking site occasionally and will likely see the iTunes links if they visit to explore music. Most of that same audience is also especially active on peer-to-peer networks trading illegal copies, giving Apple an extra incentive to target their social sites.



The decision is the first of its kind for Apple, which has largely remained absent from social networking sites. Although the California-based firm has already established a system for linking directly to artists, albums, or songs from websites, the web referral method has so far been used for general ad campaigns independent of any one website.



Although easily recognized on the Internet, Apple has been relatively slow to embrace social networking and other Web 2.0 elements. Facebook recently put in place a development kit that lets Amazon and other online retailers embed store-related links in member profiles, and European carriers Orange as well as Vodafone have both outpaced Apple in striking deals for mobile access to Bebo.



Apple will begin to learn how well its name carries forward to a younger Internet community on Wednesday, when Bebo will reportedly start hosting the British and Irish iTunes Store links.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 13
    neiltc13neiltc13 Posts: 182member
    Bebo is a US website.
  • Reply 2 of 13
    wilkiewilkie Posts: 3member
    has apple not heard of virb?! it may not have the member base as yet (im not too sure) but its a helluva lot better in terms of design and ease of use than ugly bebo :S
  • Reply 3 of 13
    bageljoeybageljoey Posts: 1,751member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wilkie View Post


    has apple not heard of virb?! it may not have the member base as yet (im not too sure) but its a helluva lot better in terms of design and ease of use than ugly bebo :S



    Must be too old. Never heard of either of these.



    I guess its smart, though. Apple already has me as a customer, they need to get them crazy kids...
  • Reply 4 of 13
    First overt attempts?



    Apple has been pimping iTunes on Facebook for a good long while now. They've given out tons of free songs, have their own group, etc etc. They were one of the first big corporate presences on Facebook.
  • Reply 5 of 13
    josa92josa92 Posts: 193member
    this should be a good move for apple, buying-wise.

    But it might build resistance from those kids who won't have anything to do with corporate-ness. Altho they wouldn't be customers anyway.....



    New font on the main page, anyone? It looks different.
  • Reply 6 of 13
    lupalupa Posts: 202member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sparkleytone View Post


    First overt attempts?



    Apple has been pimping iTunes on Facebook for a good long while now. They've given out tons of free songs, have their own group, etc etc. They were one of the first big corporate presences on Facebook.



    Ditto, this is nothing new.
  • Reply 7 of 13
    feynmanfeynman Posts: 1,087member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sparkleytone View Post


    First overt attempts?



    Apple has been pimping iTunes on Facebook for a good long while now. They've given out tons of free songs, have their own group, etc etc. They were one of the first big corporate presences on Facebook.



    Yeah they also have different profiles for each of their color iPod nano's on myspace.com



    Hardly their first attempt.
  • Reply 8 of 13
    maimezvousmaimezvous Posts: 802member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by neiltc13 View Post


    Bebo is a US website.



    It's not popular at all over here though. The only reason I used it was to keep in touch with a few of my british friends, but even they use facebook now.
  • Reply 9 of 13
    dave111dave111 Posts: 1member
    Bebo is HUGE here in Ireland. At one point it was getting more hits than google. It seems that Bebo is the only thing that people between 12 and 18 use on a computer



    I think it's a great idea personally



    Oh and by the way bebo has been redesigned in the past few weeks. Looks a little more slick... Still has nothing on Virb though.
  • Reply 10 of 13
    nufasenufase Posts: 24member
    virb does use a nice shot of an apple display in the right column of their main page though, under the heading "wanna pimp out your profile?"



    It dosen't even look like they made an attempt to remove the apple logo.
  • Reply 11 of 13
    rawheadrawhead Posts: 89member
    Yeah, iTunes has had integration with mixi, the biggest by far SNS in Japan for over a year now, too. Really, what makes this news, I do not know. Maybe AppleInsider staff isn't youth enough to know these things ;-p
  • Reply 12 of 13
    slewisslewis Posts: 2,080member
    Null.
  • Reply 13 of 13
    I think iTunes could get social networking features. I have even written an email to Apple suggesting this a few years ago.



    In the meantime Apple users are gathering in Apple social networking sites like www.cupidtino.com www.MyAppleSpace.com and others.
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